Chilling Out At Christmas

‘Don’t underestimate the value of doing nothing, of just going along listening’ Winnie the Pooh

Christmas has arrived, a great time for socialising, smiling and hopefully snowballs. However this time of year can quickly turn into a frantic, stressful time, especially in the lead up weeks to the big turkey! If for you December feels very busy, sometimes difficult and even exhausting, then taking some timeout will really help keep that authentic smile and energy high. Resting renews our strength and energy, unwinds chaotic minds and creates some much needed calm. With consistent rest we tend to notice and enjoy the little things beyond the stress of presents and busy schedules, we realise and do more of the important stuff like spending quality time with loved ones rather than arguing because we are all a tad tired, and we may even be more creative in the gifts ideas we have for people. Most importantly it helps us be kinder to ourselves and others and ultimately enjoy the winter wonder a little more.

The question is are we resting much at all? For most of us sleep is disturbed, holidays aren’t until after the big feast and Sunday afternoons have now been taken over by planning, socialising and shopping. So the answer’s probably No! This holiday period we encourage making rest part of each of our December days. Keep in mind it’s about creating a state of ‘and relax’ that’s important not the activity, one person may zone out in the bath while another lays there worrying so find what works for you, here’s some ideas:

Belly Breathing
Consciously belly breathing (slow diaphragmatic breaths) through the nose is the simplest way to relax. This filters and warms the air whilst calming the nervous system and reducing muscle tension. A favourite is repeating a 5sec inhale, 5 sec exhale and 5 sec pause for 10-20 breaths. Coupling deep breathing with lying length ways along a foam roller is a great activity after a long day of shopping as it really helps decompress the spine and open up the rib cage. Some deep belly breaths are also a great tool for calming down and relaxing when among the Christmas crowds!

Body care
Using physical techniques like foam rolling, stretching & mobilisations to free up your key restrictions, enhance muscle quality, unwind your day & improve alignment. We suggest about 10-15 minutes most days, evenings are a great time.

Chill out time
Slow down, zone out or even just do nothing. You can do loads without even leaving the house, spending a penny and you can use stuff you enjoy as long as it invokes relaxation (aka quiet play). Wrapped up Christmas walks (pups welcome), candlelit baths (epsom salts), drawing, having a fire, stargazing, watching sun sets, singing, listening to some festive music, herbal teas or snuggling with a loved one or pet are all great ways to take a break and re-energise.

 

Practical Meditation
We encourage anything that is non-goal orientated, invokes relaxing and frees you from analytical thought. Some ideas are breathing, body scanning, visualisations, gardening, dancing, walking, artwork and tai chi. The take 10 by headspace app is a great, simple introduction to meditation if you don’t know where to start. You can even practice practical mindfulness whilst doing the Christmas wrapping or cooking the turkey. Just focus your mind on the task that you’re doing. Be fully immersed in the task of wrapping the presents and leave all other thoughts aside until you’re done.

Relaxation therapies
Treating yourself to any number of relaxing therapies is a great idea if you’ve got the funds. Or maybe it’s something you could ask Santa for this Christmas! Think spa, massage, sauna, flotation tanks or acupuncture, they can all help achieve that deep, relaxing, regenerative state.

So this Christmas remember to take 10-15 minutes every so often just to relax, unwind and re-energise yourself in order to get the most out of the festive season this year!

Merry Christmas,

aps

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Unit 1 - The Hay Barn,
Bartletts Court,
Bath Road,
Maidenhead,
SL6 3RX

07565 528 663